Chivas USA has made adopting the Chivas de Guadalajara philosophy of developing and hiring local talent a priority. On that end they're succeeding, although a mostly LA area-bred squad does not a champion make, at least in 2013.
Weeks ago I wrote a piece exposing the "Americanness" of Chivas USA's squad and how they, it turns out, have one of the most American starting lineups in MLS. Well, going beyond that, most of that squad is made up of Angelenos, or angelinos, if you will.
To come to the conclusion that Chivas USA is the most locally-based team in the league this year, I compared the birthplaces on its full roster to those of the next most-American teams (meaning teams that have and use the most Americans in the league). The Union leads the league with 10 Americans on its starting squad, but has only three local players on its full roster. New England follows with nine American starters, but again, only three are local to that region.
The Galaxy, Rapids and Earthquakes have had upwards of eight American starters. But the locals on the full rosters of the Rapids (2) and the Quakes (4) pale in comparison to the Galaxy's (10).
Real Salt Lake, the Crew and Chivas average 7 American starters (Chivas has fielded up to 8), but Salt Lake has zero locals on their full roster, while the Crew has seven locals on its full roster.
Then there's Chivas, which has 12 locally-born players on its full roster, which tops the league.
MLS rosters with the most local players, by the numbers
Chivas USA (12):
Carlos Alvarez (Los Angeles, CA)
Daniel Antunez (Santa Ana, CA)
Eric Avila (San Diego, CA)
Carlos Bocanegra (Upland, CA)
Carlos Borja (Anaheim, CA)
Tristan Bowen (Los Angeles, CA)
Marky Delgado (Glendora, CA)
Gabriel Farfan (San Diego, CA)
Jaime Frias (Los Angeles, CA)
Dan Kennedy (Fullerton, CA)
Julio Morales (Glendale, CA)
Jorge Villafana (Anaheim, CA)
LA Galaxy (10):
Landon Donovan (Ontario, CA)
Sean Franklin (Panorama City, CA)
Rafael Garcia (Canoga Park, CA)
Hector Jimenez (Huntington Park, CA)
Jack McBean (Newport Beach, CA)
Brian Perk (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)
Robbie Rogers (Huntington Beach, CA)
Oscar Sorto (Los Angeles, CA)
Jose Villarreal (Inglewood, CA)
Gyasi Zardes (Hawthorne, CA)
Columbus Crew (7):
Chad Barson (Columbus, OH)
Aaron Horton (Lewis Center, OH)
Kyle Hyland (Bay Village, OH)
Danny O'Rourke (Columbus, OH)
Ben Speas (Stow, OH)
Wil Trapp (Gahanna, OH)
Josh Williams (Copley, OH)
San Jose Earthquakes (4):
Steven Beitashour (San Jose, CA)
David Bingham (Castro Valley, CA)
Adam Jahn (El Macero, CA)
Chris Wondolowski (Danville, CA)
Philadelphia Union (3):
Jimmy McLaughlin (Malvern, PA)
Jeff Parke (Albington, PA)
Zach Pfeffer (Dresher, PA)
Scott Caldwell (Weymouth, MA)
Chris Tierney (Boston, MA)
Charlie Davies (Manchester, NH)
Colorado Rapids (2):
Davy Armstrong (Aurora, CO)
Dillon Serna (Brighton, CO)
Real Salt Lake (0)
The numbers show that although Philadelphia, New England, Colorado, and Real Salt Lake have a majority of American-born players on their starting squads, their players are not truly or originally from the areas where these franchises are located.
Chivas' last starting lineup had more LA and So Cal starters (6: Kennedy, Delgado, Avila, Bocanegra, Borja, Alvarez) than the next-most localized roster, the Galaxy, which had only 3 (Donovan, Jimenez, Zardes), as did the Crew (Barson, Trapp, Williams).
As the numbers show, being branded the Galaxy does not necessarily make a very LA team.
Update: FC Dallas (8)
Kellyn Acosta (Plano, TX)
Bradley Baladez (Mesquite, TX)
Danny Garcia (Homegrown)
Jesse Gonzalez (Homegrown, born in NC)
Richard Sanchez (Homegrown, born in CA)
Jonathan Top (Fort Worth, TX)
Victor Ulloa (Wylie, TX)
London Woodberry (Homegrown)
Thanks to one reader for mentioning FC Dallas. The Hoops boast having the most Homegrown contract signings in the league (10). In their last game against Chivas, Dallas fielded 3 American-born starters (Acosta, John, Hedges), of which only 1 (Acosta) originates from the Dallas area.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!